Leona Build Guide by MTaur
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First clear doesn't have to be terrible
OMG MTAUR WHAT ARE YOU DOING LEONA'S CLEARS ARE TERRIBAD
Leona's first clear doesn't have to be terrible, but you have to have AS reds and a Long Sword. You probably want jungling 9/21/0 masteries, too, but 15% AS and 10 AD is plenty for a reasonable first clear.
While Leona doesn't scale well with AD or AS generally, taking both dramatically improves Leona's jungle clears. You can sell the Long Sword later after your AD per level picks up, or you can eventually upgrade it to Trinity Force.
Considering that you're jungle instead of 0 cs, you should get HoG and Philo just as quickly as you usually would. That extra 500 gold for Long Sword and Health Potions comes back rapidly.
Hard tank/support tank are probably the best builds
The bruiser setup does extra damage, but is a bit pricey and others use the same items better. But if you're super-rich, it's a pretty tanky setup that helps you do some cleanup when your team isn't quite fed enough. It's just that the tanky side of "tanky DPS" scales better for Leona than the DPS side.
By comparison, the other two builds (hard tank/support tank) are pretty vanilla. Especially the support tank build, which is more or less meta-friendly at the moment (except for being in the jungle in the first place). Hard tank is what most Leona players sometimes wish they *could* build.
Warding and item slots
You should ward when possible, especially after finishing double GP10. This means planning to keep a slot open. If you have a dedicated bot lane ward monkey, then you can consider taking the luxury of having 6 equipment items at times.
Please note that the following (if achieved without undue hardship) make Leona pretty tanky for that stage of the game, and that you are in a very good place to spend on wards once there:
Philosopher's Stone sight ward
To go forward after Ionian Boots of Lucidity, there are a few ways to move forward.
1. Build Sunfire Cape and sell Long Sword
2. Combine Shurelya's Reverie and build whatever you'd like to get next
3. Build Warmog's Armor and sell Philosopher's Stone
Any of these choices will get you back down to five items again.
Philosopher's Stone sight ward
There are options. They can be mixed up, but I provided sample builds balanced around themes. Here we look at the items separately.
Your team might expect support items anyway. These two items are a balanced continuation of the initial items. If you would rather hold on to your GP10, AD from the Aegis aura can replace Long Sword.
One or both of these offer a lot of sustain. FoN is clearly situational, while Warmog's Armor can be propped up by Eclipse for a tanky mid-to-late game.
This is the best item for Leona to push lanes. With Eclipse and Sunfire Cape, it doesn't take long. Also good for the jungle. It's also a good item, providing exactly the stats Leona typically needs to transition into the later mid-game as ADCs start to get fed.
Good item, builds from Heart of Gold. Locket of the Iron Solari can be considered too, but bot lane could use it better, generally.
Situational but good. If you don't have a well-fed AP champ or two, don't bother. If you do, it's a solid pick. If you're not doing well, consider a harder tank item instead. This item is also questionable if the enemy team's fed champs are all AD.
At least useable
I hate the build path, or else I'd rate it more highly. It's too redundant with Randuin's Omen anyway. You can get Frozen Heart as a late item if you want, but my suggested early items rush CDR faster. Mana is a junk stat, so in my opinion...
Leona simply doesn't need the armor early on because of Eclipse. She needs the health and the cheaper CDR. By following up with Chain Vest after Kindlegem, Leona has 200 extra health and is close to a Sunfire Cape or a Warden's Mail or something else more useful.
However, the following setup might be legitimate:
You can postpone the CDR a bit (compared to Ionians) and buy everyone's favorite shoes. If you're afraid that the enemy ADC is getting too fed, it might be worth it to get an earlyish Frozen Heart this way. I still don't suggest this build path for completely generic circumstance, though.
Not a real priority, but it is a good Long Sword upgrade and Leona does get a lot of free resists. The passive will mostly go to waste unless you commit to an extra auto-attack or two after each Q, though.
This isn't too bad. Mana isn't really needed, and the bubble tends to do more for carries than front-liners who get hit by tons of AoE anyway. Consider Force of Nature instead unless you're behind on health. Occasionally, the bubble might get you to their carry when they could otherwise CC you, but results vary.
Hardly worth it unless you have a lot of health. Might be questionable unless you have Warmog's Armor and maybe even Zeal. Other champions use these items better, generally, but Eclipse lets you cut some corners a little on resists. Atma's Impaler and Spirit Visage are sort of cheap, and synergize with Warmog's Armor.
This won't make Leona a true bruiser, but it adds enough burst and DPS to finish off targets who'd otherwise get away with a couple ticks of health. The move speed and the occasional slow can make a difference, too. But it's not worth rushing the item and being squishy.
Leona doesn't have innate regeneration, but Spirit Visage is a Kindlegem upgrade that grants some MR, which is good if you only want that amount of MR and not any more. The passive pays off more if you get Warmog's Armor and/or Force of Nature.
Blue, wolves, wraiths, golems. A hard pull at blue helps a lot. I need to practice more to see if red is realistic for first clear. However, if you smite one of the golems and stop there, then you'll have a good amount of health to gank with.
After that, do whatever. You should have farmed up boots and at least a health potion in the mean time.
Jungle creep technique
The most health-efficient thing is to double-attack (auto + Q-auto) the big creep, wait a second for the stun to wear off, and then W. E is a mana-costy source of extra damage that you can use if you have blue.
First clear with blue buff, Leona has W on more often than not for good damage mitigation on first clear. AS marks and Long Sword really do speed it up to the point where you should be pleasantly surprised if you haven't tried it yet.
Leona is a tempting target to counterjungle. Try not to get too low if the enemy jungler is mia. If your creeps are gone, gank something, since you should be ganking anyway. Ward your buffs and ping if the enemy jungler gets greedy. If your other lanes respond well to enemy jungler sightings, you should be in good shape.
Leona is also fairly good at counterganks, assuming that she gets there early enough that her allies can still help out.
The first thing is to have realistic expectations of what you can pull off. Leona can't canonball in and 100-0 someone like Nocturne. She has to set up someone to take damage from the laner, and that laner needs to be sure that they can do their damage without dying. A good mid or ranged champ can get nice amounts of damage in on a stunned target without dying, but it simply won't do to try to finish them off yourself if your burst doesn't do it.
Sometimes, Flash into Shield of Daybreak is safer than starting with Zenith Blade. If they're good, they'll definitely do everything they can to try to make you miss Zenith Blade, so there's no surefire thing that always works here. Just general skillshot advice applies...
1. You have to lead them (i.e., shoot to intercept where they will be half a second or so from now)
2. Even if you do (1), they can take a quick step in the other direction if they're good. However, if some other threat is in play, then the dodge might hurt them in some other way. The best time to skillshot is when such a threat is in play. (Example, if the only way for them to dodge Zenith Blade is to remain close to your mid for a second)
3. You can make (2) happen more often if you come from behind or create some other positioning advantage.
4. If you aren't confident that you can either land it or make them walk into some other threat, save your E for later.
The other thing is that at 6, you can ult them from beyond their vision (assuming you don't walk into ward view). If you land the ult stun, there's just enough time to get in range to land Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak, as well as detonate Eclipse. There's a chance they might have time to Flash before you land one or all of these, but that's still a success.
Eclipse is good for damage, jungle clears, and surviving your own ganks (especially turret dives). But for getting more stuns out, the following is also debatable:
Pros / Cons
* Strong CC-oriented ganks with decent initial burst damage
* Clears aren't as bad as you've heard
* Gets fed and tanky faster than bot lane ward monkey Leona
* Feeds worthy allies
* Not all that buff-dependent (red is good if no one else wants it)
* Can afford to ward
* Skeptical teammates
* Double-buff at 3 might not be possible or safe
* Mildly slow clears at 1 that never become truly fast at any level
* Risky - if you score 0 assists, it can take a bit too long to build double GP10
* Long Sword delays build slightly compared to most junglers
* Could face counterjungling
* Less 1v1 and cleanup power than other junglers